I recently wrote a post about how much I love my dryer balls and what a difference they’ve made in my laundry routine.
And because I love them so much, you can imagine my worry when I realized that my store-bought dryer balls were starting to pill and get pretty raggedly looking. I knew I couldn’t live without them, so I followed some of my own advice and decided to make my own!
I read a few how-tos and made a plan. Here’s how it went!
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The first step is to buy the right type of yarn.
Being that I’m not a knitter or crocheter (is that a word?), I’ve never paid that much attention to the amount of wool in the yarn I buy for crafts. But in order to actually turn into felted balls, the yarn has to be 100% wool. This wasn’t hard to find once I knew what to look for. As usual, my trusty local Joann Fabrics came through with a coupon for half off. Plus, I saved an additional 5% with Ibotta.
The other thing you’ll need for
D IY dryer balls is some old nylon stockings.
I thought I had some leftover from my office days, but it seemed that I had gotten rid of them at some point. I did find some nylon trouser socks at Walmart for about $.75, so that worked for me!
Next, start to make the yarn into balls.
Begin by wrapping one end around two fingers a few times, then continue wrapping in the other direction. This will be the center of your yarn ball.
Once your center is made, fold it in half, and continue wrapping it with yarn. Remember to turn your ball every few rounds, so it doesn’t end up oblong or with too much yarn on one side.
When you’re happy with the size of your dryer ball, cut the yarn and tuck under a few layers. I also read that you could use a crochet hook to help pull your end through. I also tied my end to make sure it was really secure.
My DIY dryer balls ended up being a little larger than a tennis ball, and I was able to make 3 out of each skein of yarn.
Next, place your yarn balls inside your nylon stocking. If you’re using regular pantyhose instead of trouser socks, you would just cut the legs off and use them.
Right after every yarn ball, I tied the stocking in a knot. This will keep the yarn balls in place in the washer and dryer while helping them stay round.
Now your DIY dryer balls are ready for the wash!
Put the yarn balls in your washing machine on the hot/cold setting. I threw mine in with a couple of clean towels to muffle the noise a bit.
When the washer is done, place the towels and the yarn balls in the dryer and dry on the highest setting.
If the yarn on the outside of the dryer balls can still be separated with your fingertips after they come out of the dryer, they will need to go through the wash and dry process for another go.
I had to throw mine in for a second round. Even through the nylons, I could tell they hadn’t fused totally. Apparently, I should have tied the nylons with thread to be able to check the balls easier, but now I know not to skip that step next time.
After the second round, I could see a big difference in the yarn balls. No single thread could be moved around on the outside of the balls. Even some fibers were escaping through the nylons!
Once the wool is all fused together, the dryer balls are ready to use. Simply untie the nylons, and use them just as you would commercial dryer balls.
One thing to note is that the finished dryer balls ended up a bit smaller than when I was wrapping them. Once all the air is out and the yarn is fused, they’ve become quite compact.
I’ve used my DIY dryer balls a few times since I made them.
I’ve found that they work just as well as the store-bought balls I’ve been using for years. They’re easy to find in the big loads, and they have kept their shape nicely.
These little babies might just work their way onto my list of handmade gifts to give because they’re so useful and easy to make.
I just want to share them!
Think about wrapping them up in a basket with some instructions and maybe some all-natural cleaning products as a housewarming gift. That would brighten my doorstep anytime!
Have you ever made your own wool dryer balls? Are there any tricks that I missed?